About the “author”:

Alex Bates is a graduate student at the University of Iowa in the division of Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences (AMCS). He graduated from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN but is originally from Eau Claire, WI.

When Alex isn’t busy doing math or driving across the Midwest, he likes to spend time with his friends, ponder theology, explore dank memes, and write code.

“minniowis”? “In the Fields?”

Some of you are probably wondering why I chose my blog’s url to include the made-up word “minniowis”. No, it’s not a severe butchering of the word “minnows”; it’s actually an amalgamation of the names of the three states I’ve lived in during the course of my life: Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. But if you read my bio above, they’re out of order; I was born and raised in Wisconsin, moved to Minnesota for college, and am currently living in Iowa for grad school. Though I’ve moved states, the Midwest definitely feels like home.

I chose to name my blog “In the Fields” as a sort of play on the word “Fields”. First, since I’ve lived in the Midwest all my life, fields seem to me a normal part of the countryside, whether they contain corn, cows, sheep, or wheat. (This is starting to sound like a game of Catan.) Iowa City itself, where I currently live, is essentially a university town surrounded by farms. But second, I’m a mathematician by trade, and one of the big objects of study in Abstract Algebra are fields, that is, commutative rings where each element other than the additive identity has a multiplicative inverse. So I’m “In the Fields” in the literal sense of being surrounded by farmland, but I’m also “In the Fields” in the sense of having my nose in mathematics day-to-day.